The author examines how theologians, especially Protestants, have changed their attitude to pop-culture. A veritable evolution has taken place. At one time, Protestant theologians refused to even acknowledge the existence of the phenomenon, while today some of these theologians employ examples drawn from pop-culture even in their lessons of theology. The author studies this contemporary development and offers some reasons for why it has come about. One ofthese theologians, a certain Gordon Lynch, has become a convinced apologist for pop-culture and analyses it on the basis of his threefold theory of the levels of the functionality of religion: sociological, existential (hermeneutic), and transcendental. In Lynch’s opinion, pop-culture has taken over the role of religion in many cases. He cites the popular cartoon The Simpsons as one prominent example. Religion plays an important part in this cartoon series and Protestant theologians have begun to take notice an opposite change of attitude towards religion in pop-culture, viewing the development in a positive way. Though pop-cultural products may be used in pastoral ministry and are also being evaluated by theologians, this analysis cannot be called scientific in the strictest sense, since generally it remains within the scope of only theological approach.
Popular Culture, Religion and Theology, Religion and Cinema, Religion in «the Simpsons»
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